Photo credit: Weldon Brewster Photography
Hollywood Community Housing Corp. (HCHC) and KFA, a full-service architecture and design firm, have completed The Florence Mills Apartments, a mixed-use affordable housing development located at the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Florence Mills features 74 apartments, 5,000 square feet of commercial space along Central Avenue, and an open, landscaped public plaza.
The building features 13 one-bedroom units, 37 two-bedroom apartments, 24 three-bedroom units, community and common areas, underground parking, four laundry rooms and secure access to the building. The units are restricted to households at low-, very low- and extremely low-income levels.
The four story development was named in honor of Florence Mills, a Black vaudeville singer, dancer, and actress in the 1920s, who frequently performed at a theater that stood on the project site when she traveled to Los Angeles from Harlem. (The theater burned down many years ago). Local artist Myisha Arellano was chosen through a community process to paint two large murals of Florence Mills on the outside of the building on prominent street-facing walls that were purposefully designed by KFA to accept large-scale art. The mural facing the corner of Central and Jefferson Blvd is entitled “Follow Me,” and meant to inspire community members to live their dreams and achieve to their full potential. The second mural entitled “Blackbirds” is named for Mills’ signature song, “I’m a Little Blackbird Looking for a Bluebird.”
The property is set to obtain LEED Platinum certification and features drought-tolerant landscaping, locally sourced materials, high-efficiency lighting, Energy Star appliances and low-flow fixtures.
Young Musicians Foundation has leased the commercial space, which is located in the corner plaza with roll-up doors. Through a partnership between HCHC and Young Musicians Foundation, residents of Florence Mills and Paul R. Williams apartments are able to attend free music classes, music technology and recording lab, concerts, workshops and multi-disciplinary arts programming.
Florence Mills Apartments was featured in various media articles: